NFL Draft Brings Football Back Into Spotlight This Week
The 2014 NFL Draft is finally upon us. The event, having been pushed back from late April to early May in order to generate more buzz and hype, has succeeded in creating more talk and more articles about the event. In this way, the NFL has covered more of the calendar and more of the news cycle, a very intentional goal on the part of league commissioner Roger Goodell. What are the major storylines in this year’s draft? A few players are going to get more attention than others.
The biggest single focus of the draft is and has been Johnny Manziel, the quarterback from Texas A&M. Manziel is a gifted quarterback but also a player who always seemed to find controversies while playing in college. NFL teams could either fall in love with his talent or be scared by his off-field doings. You’re going to see a lot of attention paid to where Manziel lands, and if he is a top-five pick or someone who falls many slots on the draft board.
The second biggest focal point in the draft will be South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, a really good speed rusher but a player who had some fitness-related problems last season. Head coach Steve Spurrier was not hugely complimentary of Clowney’s work ethic, so it’s possible that Clowney might not be the top overall pick, as most have been assuming. He’ll very likely go in the top three, but if he doesn’t go number one, he might feel slighted.
The third player to watch for is Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. He has somehow become the focus of all sorts of little intrigues, the kinds of things that crop up before the draft for at least a few players. Whether whispers about Bridgewater’s lack of fitness are purely smokescreens designed to take other teams off the scent, or genuine measurements of his bona fides, is something that won’t be known until draft night.